"I am telling everyone my life is at stake."
Republic TV editor-in-chief Arnab Goswami has claimed that his life is in danger after he was subjected to torture and was not allowed to speak to his lawyers.
The 47-year-old journalist was arrested on November 4, 2020, in connection with the 2018 suicide case of interior designer Anvay Naik and his mother, Kumud Naik.
The mother and son were discovered in their bungalow in Alibag in May 2018.
Arnab Goswami has been accused of abetment to suicide. In Naik’s suicide note, he had blamed Goswami and two others for his and his mother’s suicide.
According to police officials, Anvay and Kumud committed suicide over reported non-payment of dues by Goswami’s TV channel and two other companies.
Now, a video released by Republic TV showed Goswami speaking to media from a police van.
The journalist was being shifted from Alibag Primary School, in the Raigad district to Taloja Jail, in Navi Mumbai.
A Raigad police officer revealed that Arnab Goswami was found using a mobile phone while in custody.
In the video, Arnab Goswami stated that he was assaulted at the quarantine centre in the school. He added there was a threat to his life. He said:
“I had requested them please let me talk (to my lawyers). But they denied. I am telling everyone my life is at stake. My police custody was rejected.
“They tried to shift me at night only. Today morning they have dragged me. Everybody is seeing what is happening to me.
“They want to delay the process and keep me in jail. Please give me bail, I am appealing to the Supreme Court.”
Arnab Goswami’s wife and Republic TV’s senior executive editor, Samyabrata Ray, has released a statement about her husband’s alleged assault. She said:
“This morning my husband, who has spent four nights in judicial custody, was dragged and lugged by the Maharashtra Police in a blacked-out police van to Taloja Jail.
“He was repeatedly saying, ‘my life is under threat’ but to no avail. He repeatedly said that the jailer assaulted him after he asked for access to his lawyers, which was shockingly denied.”
Ray further added:
“He detailed the assault being inflicted on him during this custody and pleaded, hands folded to the Supreme Court of India for intervention and bail.
“An innocent man and journalist of decades of repute, a journalist doing his duty for the nation has been assaulted, harassed and framed on fake charges.
“He has been thrown into jail with no reprieve.”
Ray went on to accuse institutions in Maharashtra who are meant to safeguard law and order of becoming “violators and assaulters in uniform.” She continued:
“The state machinery has turned into a handmaiden for politically motivated aggression. And the pillars of democracy cannot be spectators to the grave and brazen human rights abuses and state excesses deployed against a citizen in the state of Maharashtra.”
She continued to request authorities to help her husband.
“With Arnab publicly disclosing the threat to his life and the atrocities he is facing in custody, the law and order officers and the entire state and national machinery will be held responsible if any harm is inflicted upon my husband.
“I humbly appeal to the institutions that still hold truth to power and stand tall as a pillar of our great democracy to take note of the gross abuse and misuse of power at play to punish a journalist who demanded accountability.
“A precedent is being set today for our democracy.
“I turn to the great institutions with the hope that those in power will not remain blind or mute to the atrocity on one man, one citizen, one journalist, one news network and the free press at large anymore.”
The Bombay High Court will announce its order on Arnab Goswami’s interim bail application on Monday, 9 November 2020.